Thursday, March 3, 2016

Clinton Fact Check: Honduras Follow-up

To follow up on my earlier post about Clinton and Honduras (with a heavy sigh):

Headline reading "The Clinton-Backed Honduran Regime Is Picking Off Indigenous Leaders"

A choice quote from the above article: "Cáceres was a vocal and brave indigenous leader, an opponent of the 2009 Honduran coup that Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state, made possible." Clinton is apparently personally responsible for the anti-choice bills passed by the Honduran legislature as well.

The assassination of Berta Cáceres is deplorable. I mourn for her, and I rage at the utter injustice that continues in Honduras.

This framing, though, is nothing but revisionist bullshit. It's meant to monsterize Clinton, and fits nicely into the popular narrative that Clinton is a warmongering sociopath. I do not want to downplay the profound harm that was (and is still) caused by Clinton's support of various military actions, but at the same time, I want to acknowledge that her actual record is much more complex and nuanced than that "warmonger" narrative allows for.

There are plenty of things to critique about Clinton's actions as Secretary of State (like her willingless to arm rebels - can we please stop? it never works out well). Inventing inflammatory claims isn't necessary or even helpful.

On top of that, it reduces the death of Berta Cáceres to nothing more than an anti-Clinton talking point. There are entrenched problems in Honduras (including some that the US is indeed responsible for) that deserve to be addressed if there is to be anything even close to justice for Cáceres. Blaming it on Clinton takes attention away from these real problems, and centers US electoral politics where it doesn't belong.

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